|The Civil Liberties Commission of the Party of Communists USA is paying close attention to the Haaland v Brackeen case that is in front of the Supreme Court. The case will determine the future of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), which gives priority to placing native children in native homes in cases of adoption or foster care.
The plaintiffs in this case (Brackeen) argue that this is race discrimination and violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Indigenous Americans are legally considered a political class and not subject to racial classification, and the rollback of this act is an opening attack on tribal sovereignty and with the goal of an eventual erasure of indigenous peoples; constituting cultural genocide. The plaintiffs are being represented by the legislative arm of the Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank funded by the Koch brothers.
The ICWA was hard–fought for by militant indigenous activists such as the American Indian Movement (AIM) as well as the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC). Prior to this act, there was a US federal program called the “Indian Adoption Project” which ran from 1958 to 1967 and provided funding to the Bureau of Indian Affairs which sent social workers to reservations to coerce parents to sign away their parental rights. As a result 90% of the removed children were placed in non–native homes.
ICWA allows the tribe to transfer tribal cases to tribal courts and prioritizes placement in native homes. The Civil Liberties Commission supports the ICWA and hopes that the Supreme Court does not overturn the ICWA, and we will continue to support the right to self–determination and all working class Indigenous Americans and their families in their struggles. We resolutely stand against all the blatant, open attacks on the civil rights of all working class Americans by the Supreme Court.
The PCUSA needs to be sensitive to the plight and condition of oppressed nationalities.
Civil Liberties Commission and Indigenous Peoples Commission,
Party of Communists USA